Poetry from Kaia Hobson


by Kaia Hobson


i could cut your hair like that again

just run away from me

scissors in hand

following you and your giggles

that quickly turn to screams

when i grasp those curly brown locks

and snip what i can

i leave what is best

before you wriggle your way out of my arms

once more


though you are faster now

later sometimes i see the uneven

strands that form crests

as if to send a message:

you will not be controlled.


you are the burden i do not want lifted from my shoulders

and yet

you set sail and drift away

and i am left standing on the shore

blunt scissors in hand

Flash fiction from Luna Acorcha

Did you Hear?
“Did you wake up last night to the dry brush of the wheels too low to touch?”
“No Ma, I woke up to the pants of tired chubby sick children who have crusty liquid in their lungs.”
Ma touched her toes, then reached to touch this sky. “And the night before, did you hear the leopard’s paws make pretty thumb prints? They were the cause of the cries of babes with their calloused hands on their too sweet, soft, tormenting skin.”
Baby Jo, heard his Ma out, but knew what he heard that night two nights ago. “I heard Mary’s dad say that her mother was once better before she drove herself away. Then Mary said ‘I never want to look like my own blood, even the one far away, the life lived on some other planet.”
“What about one week ago, were you there when two cheeks touched and those brains above those cheeks wondered if this was real? When veins came out of arms like weeds come out of powdered ground? Did you see how he waited for waves of itty bitty talk to weave their way through this brushed out brown?”
“Sorry Ma, I missed it. Did you say one week ago?” Ma moved the way she sat, and nodded her crafted head out of bark and dirt and sixty cent seeds.
“Ma! That was when the happiness of the holidays blistered their eyes, their ears and made marks on their skins of little babes. The beatdown, the take on take made them all sick. They had too many marshmallows with their sweet potatoes that day. They had a final say of what will come next week when the next holiday makes its way under this bridge of fragile glass.”
“Baby Jo, I want you to caress their hard bridged noses with your whiskered wings. Tell them Ma is coming. Soon, metal will fall as it once was before he came and made it this. This will once become what I knew it to be. This sky was green with the jewels we once choked. Don’t you wonder Jo, why is this skirt red, ears red, waste brown, cows brown? Look at what happened two weeks ago.”
“Ma, I was there two weeks ago. Now I know all that you have been taught and you no longer have to teach me.”
“Jo, I still do, when instead of a delicate tea cup with warm pink sweets, you see a cracking tower with seventeen floors. That is no good.”

Poetry from J.J. Campbell

your powers are limited
walk hand in hand
with all the regrets
that got you to here
there is never a
reason to look
behind you
your powers
are limited to
controlling only
what is in front
of you
there’s plenty of
demons waiting
for you
no need to mingle
with those from
your past
all of them seek
the same thing
as you do
the end

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Poetry from Lauren Ainslie


My pulsing heart has frozen

And that ice has spread

Through my stomach arms legs brain

My eyes are now sky-mirrors

My breath a dripping fog

It is growing inside me

butterflies behind my eyelids could not fly

They were trapped in an igloo

Their beryl wings turned into snow

They are now part of the glacier

I shiver

The floe has reached my skin

It cracks and pulls

It melts from my eyes and hands

You put it there

I wait for the day you drown.


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Poetry from Vijay Nair


Bleeding Kashmir










O, Kashmir! My Kashmir!

Why are you crying?

Who makes you cry?

Me? or, my rulers?

Or, your own men?

Or, our neighbours?

Repression is at home

She withers for long


Vale, you desiccated from


Peak or lake is a dispute?

Laughing waters on, it ripples?

Covered all pine, birch or maples?

Or, green carpet of staples?

Orchard yields pear or apples?

Outer beauty attracts all enemies

In funeral pyre her inner beauty

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Poetry from Yusuf BM

Blood Party


Our meals turned macabre
Deserting our lives
Into the atmosphere of fear
Choice shakes
Death or life?

Gun sounds sweetened
Our ears like afro-beats
Dancing to death
Like it is makosa
Choice grumbles
Death or life?

Zero child- Cries of mothers
Only wicked toys
Rules the play ground of kids
And solemn lullabies walks around
Their smiling fields
Choice wiggles
Death or Life?

Humans- Preys to terrorists
Like lion and animals
Feeding on its choice
Blood- wine of theirs
A war
But, a blood party
And choice bangs
Death or Life?

~Yusuf BM

Author’s Biography

  Yusuf BM is a Nigerian teen author and a photographer. He’s the author of Brittle Songs  (Book of Poetry), he writes short stories, poems, essays and literary reports. He is a member of the Hilltop Creative Art Foundation (HCAF).

Poetry from J.D. DeHart


Today I am retracing
my steps through old
pages.  Moth
sounds accompany my
soft journey.

I will make intentional
clambering noises
so part of the trip
is louder.

Am I a closed loop?
No, I do not own this
description.  I am
an ongoing chain,
an open hand, a word
that would sustain.

Why were these old
images important?  Who
can say now.

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